In the 2015 auction of Hockey India League, 6 franchisees picked their teams from 135 Indian and 136 foreign players. Germans were among the highest paid, while young Indian players were also sold like hot-cakes. German Captain Moritz Fürste bagged highest price i.e. $105,000, while Indian Forward Akashdeep Singh turned out to be highest paid Indian with the price tag of $84,000.
The day started with Kieran Govers was bought by Dabang Mumbai at USD 36000 post an intense round of bidding. With everyone waiting in anticipation to see who finally takes the Indian Sardar Singh, it was Kalinga Lancers who opened the bid for him. However, Jaypee Punjab Warriors managed to take him at USD 58000 through their persistence and consistently upping the price. Having missed on Sardar Singh, Kalinga Lancers got adamant when the bid for German midfielder Moritz Fuerste commenced. With all teams vying to get him on board, it was the Lancers who stretched themselves for a mind blowing USD 105000 and surpassed last year’s bid of USD 103000 made by Dabang Mumbai for star player Tom Boon. With this bid Moritz Fuerste becomes the highest player in Hockey India League. Dabang Mumbai looking at successfully bidding for the top foreign players in their team saw them take Florian Fuchs at USD 96000. Not far behind was Uttar Pradesh Wizards who not wanting to lose out on German Defender and Midfielder Tobias Hauke got him for USD 96000.
Another much awaited bid was Rupinder Pal Singh and Delhi Waveriders went all out to get him back to the squad at USD 68000. The franchisees showed their keenness for the versatile defender Sandeep Singh as Ranchi Rays went on to grab him for USD 81000 while legendary player Jamie Dwyer was clinched by Uttar Pradesh Wizards for USD 57000.
It was heartening to see that the franchisee chose many from the young brigades who have been vying for a chance to perform on a big platform like Hokey India League. Goalkeepers Akash Chitke, Suraj Karkera and Krishan B Pathak got picked up by Ranchi Rays, Uttar Pradesh Wizards and Dabang Mumbai respectively marking the youngest players coming on board the League.
Young Indian forward Akashdeep Singh, Defender Gurmail Singh, Forward Gurwinder Singh Chandi, Forward Mandeep Singh, Forward Nikkin Thimmaiah were bid for aggressively by franchisees and were pocketed by Uttar Pradesh Wizards, Dabang Mumbai, Jaypee Punjab Warriors, Delhi Waveriders, Dabang Mumbai respectively. While Akashdeep became the highest paid Indian player with USD 84000, he was closely followed by Gurmail Singh being bagged for USD 81000, Gurwinder Singh Chandi for USD 75000, Mandeep Singh going for USD 70000 and Nikkin Thimmaiah taken for USD 67000 marking a new high for Indian players getting recognized for their contribution to Indian Hockey.
Top 10 Indian Buys
1. Akashdeep Singh – $84,000 – UP Wizards
2. Sandeep Singh – $81,000 – Ranchi Rays
3. Gurmail Singh – $81,000 – Dabang Mumbai
4. Gurwinder Singh Chandi – $75,000 – Punjab Warriors
5. Mandeep Singh – $70,000 – Delhi Waveriders
6. Rupinderpal Singh – $68,000 – Delhi Waveriders
7. Nikkin Thimmaih – $67,000 – Dabang Mumbai
8. Jasjit Singh Kular – $65,000 – Punjab Warriors
9. Chinglensana Singh – $62,000 – UP Wizards
10. Dharamvir Singh – $60,000 – Kalinga Lancers
Top 10 Foreign Buys
1. Mortiz Fuerste (GER) – $105,0000 – Kalinga Lancers
2. Florian Fuchs (GER) – $96,000 – Dabang Mumbai
3. Tobias Hauke (GER) – $96,000 – UP Wizards
4. Mathew Swann (AUS) – $75,000 – Dabang Mumbai
5. Mathew Gohdes (AUS) – $71,000 – Punjab Warriors
6. Austin Smith (SA) – $59,000 – Delhi Waveriders
7. Simon Orchard (AUS) – $58,000 – Punjab Warriors
8. Jamie Dwyer (AUS) – $57,000 – UP Wizards
9. Kieran Govers (AUS) – $36,000 – Dabang Mumbai
10. Benjamin Stanzl (AUT) – $35,000 – Delhi Waveriders
Kelly Fairweather, CEO, FIH who was present for the auctions said “The League has attained a unique position in the world of Hockey. There is considerable excitement in the fraternity for the event which is growing in stature year after year. The auctions are being held in the most professional manner and are throwing many surprises in terms of bidding and choice of players. The increasing choice of opting for younger player is an indication that the teams are keen to experiment with fresh talent.”
Talking on the League and the Auction Dr Narinder Dhruv Batra, Chairman Hockey India League and President Hockey India said “There was no predefined criteria for the selection of players, so there was no restriction on the base price of the players and this decision was left with the players. The auctions have concluded successfully and I am happy to see the excitement amongst franchisee to build fresh teams.
Commenting on the Hockey India League, Cam Vale, CEO Hockey Australia said “HIL is a very important League across the world. Hockey Australia did not give it a second thought to sign a MOU with Hockey India for the test series and releasing its players for HIL. We are committed to provide our players for the League as this also gives them a wonderful platform to play and learn from other players from across the world.”
Chaitanya Diwan, Sr. Vice President, Star Sports said “Hockey India League has been growing year by year in terms of its popularity and viewership. We are really confident and the kind of support Hockey India is putting behind this event and the kind of support FIH is providing is a big boost to the game as well as the League. Star Sports is extremely excited about the event and we are proud of the fact that we are broadcasting the League. We will make sure we put this across all our platforms and will be presented absolutely in the best fashion possible”
Chief Mentor for Kalinga Lancers and former captain of India, Dilip Tirkey said “Since the last 2 editions, Kalinga Lancers has not been performing well and this is why we came with the plan to buy the best possible players so that we can improve our performance in the upcoming editions. We had a prior planning before picking up the players and we chose them according to our pre-set team combination that we had in our mind. The franchisees already knew about the new regularion that has been introduced before they we were asked to retain our set of players and releasing the rest. This change is certainly for the betterment of Hockey. Earlier, penalty corner was the main concern and not the field goal, this introduction will definitely pay more consideration to score field goals”.
Talking on the Hockey India League auction, Viren Rasquinha, Team Mentor, Dabang Mumbai and former Captain of India, said “One of the main strategies to regard the foreign players was to look at top class goal scorers because as per the new regulation one field goal will be counted as two so it was really important for us to get strong goal scorers”.
Commenting on the auction Harendra Singh, Head Coach, Ranchi Rays said “Strikers are more in demand as compared to mid-fielder or any other player. We are lucky to have Vikramjit Singh as he is one of the upcoming players and for Hockey India League he will prove to be a surprise package. It was tough to choose amongst the Indian players as compared to the foreign players”.
Dhanraj Pillay, Technical Director, Uttar Pradesh Wizards and Former Captain of India, talking on Akashdep Singh said “Akashdeep’s performance since the last 3-4 years is remarkable and he is also been regarded as one player who is seen everywhere in the field. Uttar Pradesh Wizards was lucky to get Jamie in the team and he will be a huge support on the Forward line alongwith Ramandeep Singh. We hope they score many field goals and give us the advantage”.
Coach, Jaypee Punjab Warriors, Jagbir Singh said “We were lucky enough to get two Captains National captains Sardar Singh and Mark Knowles in our team. from here we are looking forward to the League and see how the new team delivers”.
Hockey India League Teams for next two editions are as following:
Goalkeepers: Krishan B Pathak -2,600, David Harte-65,000 (Retained), Xavi Trenchs-$10,000
Defenders: Harmanpreet Singh-$51,000 (retained), Gurmail Singh-81,000, Jeremy Hayward-$46,000 (Retained), Shea McAleese-$10,000
Midfielders: S H Nilakanta Sharma-$2,600, Danish Mujtaba-$54,000, Vikas Sharma-$43,000, Tyron Pereira-$6,000, Manpreet-$2,600, Kieran Govers-$36,000, Matthew Swann-$75,000
Forwards: Roshan Minz-$6,000, Affan Yousuf- $53,000 Nikkin Thimmaiah-$67,000, Gurjant Singh- $2,600, Florian Fuchs-$96,000, Johan Bjorkman-$10,000
Uttar Pradesh Wizards:
Goalkeepers: PR Sreejesh-$60,000 (Retained), Suraj Karkera-$5,500
Defenders: VR Raghunath-$53,000 (Retained), Gurinder Singh- $48,000, Sunil Yadav-$2,600, Wouter Jolie-48,000 (Retained), Gonzalo Peillat-$25,000
Midfielders: Chinglensana Singh-$62,000, Vikas Vishnu Pillay-$6,000, Edward Ockenden-$66,000 (Retained), Tobias Hauke-$96,000, Nicholas Spooner-$5,000
Forwards: Ramandeep Singh-$57,000 (Retained), Akashdeep Singh-$84,000, P R Aiyapa-$2,600, Jaskaran Singh-$2,600, M Gunasekar-$2,600, Jamie Dwyer-$57,000, Kenny Bain-$17,000, Agustin Mazilli-$25,000
Goalkeepers: Harjot Singh-$20,000, Devon Manchester-$27,000
Defenders: Surender Kumar-$22,000 (Retained), Rupinder Pal Singh-$68,000, Vickram Kanth-$52,000, Amit Gowda -$10,000, Steven Edwards-$34,000 (Retained), Iain Lewers- $18,000, Justin Reid-Ross-$25,000
Midfielders: Santa Singh-$21,000, Harjeet Singh-$6,000, Tristan White-$40,000 (Retained), Austin Smith-$59,000, Banjamin Stanzl-$35,000,
Forwards: Talwinder Singh-$25,000 (Retained), Yuvraj Walmiki-$40,000 (Retained), Parvinder Singh-$29,000, Mandeep Singh-$70,000, Prabhdeep Singh-$7,500, Simon Child-$50,000
Goalkeepers: Akash Chikte-$4,500, Tyler Lovell-$30,000
Defenders: Birendra Lakra-$55,000, Kothajit Singh-$45,000 (Retained), Sandeep Singh-$81,000, Fergus Kavanagh-$60,000, Trent Mitton-$20,000
Midfielders: Manpreet Singh-$66,000 (Retained), Vikramjit Singh-$4,500, Imran Khan- $7,000, Simranjeet Singh-$8,000, Sumit-$17,000, Ashley Jackson-95,000 (Retained), Timothy Deavin-$29,000
Forwards: Sumit Kumar-$15,000, Sarvanjit Singh-$6,000, Mohd Amir Khan-$10,500, Barry Middleton-67,000 (Retained), Flynn Ogilvie-$10,000, Daniel Beale-$26,000
Goalkeepers: Abhinav Kumar Pandey-$2,600, Andrew Charter-$40,000
Defenders: Gurjinder Singh-$50,000 (Retained), Anand Lakra-$8,000, Amit Rohidas-$31,000, Dipsan Tirkey-$31,000, Pardeep Mor-$37,000
Midfielders: Dharamvir Singh-$60,000, S.K Uthappa-$54,000, Aran Zalewski-$50,000 (Retained), Moritz Fuerste-$1,05,000, Matthew Willis-$15,000
Forwards: Devindar Walmiki-$30,000 (Retained), Lalit Upadhyay-$35,000 (Retained), Stanli Victor Minz-$8,500, Malak Singh-$24,000, Glenn Turner-$30,000, Matthew Dawson-$21,000, Adam Dixon-$15,000, Quirijn Caspers-$15,000
Jaypee Punjab Warriors:
Goalkeepers: Jugraj Singh-$4,500, Nicolas Jacobi-$27,000
Defenders: Varun Kumar-$10,000 (Retained), Chris Ciriello-$42,500, Mark Knowles-$65,000
Midfielders: Sardar Singh-$58,000, Baljeet Singh Boparai-$6,000, Aiyappa Mukkatira Biddappa-$7,000, Simon Orchard-$58,000, Nick Haig-$10,000, Mark Gleghorne-$20,000
Forwards: SV Sunil-$50,000 (Retained), Satbir Singh-$45,000 (Retained), Jasjit Singh Khular-$65,000, Armaan Qureshi-$4,500, Gurwinder Singh Chandi-$75,000, Nithin Thimmaiah-$14,000, Jacob Whetton-$40,000, Matt Gohdes-$71,000